Monday, March 14, 2011


Carnevale... confetti.....costumes....vintage must be Venice!

I was fortunate enough to be there last week on the last day of Carnavale.  I rode the vaporetto to S. Angelo to visit the showrooms of Rubelli.

Rubelli is located in the 15thc Palazzo Corner Spinelli and houses some of the most historically important textiles from the 15thc forward.

Over 100 years old, Rubelli draws its inspiration from things around them...lace from Burano, frescoed walls and ornamental ceilings.

Tea Time

Rubelli works with silks, cottons, linens and wools to produce fresh interpretations of old themes along with faithful reproductions of  jacquards and damasks associated with Venice.


Handed down for five generations, ancient techniques are still used to produce the detailed designs that continue to be referenced by other major textile companies.


Striving for authentic textiles , in 2004  Rubelli reassembled hand looms from the 18th and 19th centuries to produce sopraizzi,-the labor intensive hand made velvet. In 1928, they provided the sporaizzi woven with pure gold for the carriages of the royal train.


In 2003, Rubelli was instrumental in the restoration of La Fenice after the 1996 fire. Their fabrics have also been used in La Scala in Milan and the Doges Palace in Venice.

Their historic archives house over 6000 textile records. Select pieces are rotated for viewing by their clients.

The archives are housed in a lavish 15th c room facing the grand canal where the gilded doors and ceiling catch the reflections of the water in the canal.

Isabella Campagnol , curator of the museum, was gracious enough to show me many pieces of the collection including  some of the liturgical work. The museum is an unmatched source for reconstruction of ancient textiles worldwide.

Rubelli is synonymous with the beauty of Venice. They have remained dedicated to continuing a tradition that can only be described as a pure art form. I will never forget my visit and the hospitality of the staff.

Special thanks to Albarosa Simonetti who first introduced me to Rubelli . link here.


Mark D. Ruffner said...

What a wonderful experience! Thanks for sharing. I bet you'll come back with many ideas for future projects.

Gina said...

Dear Theresa, You had a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photographs with us. Would you share more of your trip to Italy with us?

ceecee said...

This is amazing! Just to walk in those rooms...I would be speechless. Do you go to Venice every year? I think you've been 3 times since we've met. I wouldn't mind making Venice a priority at all! Can't wait to see what you delight us with next.

Cleta said...

Oh - how special that visit was. I am, and always have been, in love with Venetian fabrics. What a treat that would be to visit Rubelli. Thankyou for this post, Theresa!


mosaicology said...

What an experience. I am sure it must have enriched your entire being and fed your artistic spirit! I am happy for you.

patrickgracewood said...

Theresa, thank you for posting this. It's to die be in the presence of that much craft/art/technique/history is a once (or more!) lifetime experience.

The only thing I can compare it with is when a friend smuggled me into the to the trade only showrooms in LA. I was overwhelmed at Scalamandre, by their exquisite textiles. I needed something to dry my tears but was composed enough not to reach for $1,200.00 a yard fabric!

My Castle in Spain said...

Magical! To be able to see and touch these precious fabrics...Thank you, Theresa!

Brillante Interiors said...

My pleasure Theresa, I am glad you enjoyed Rubelli and the Carnevale di Venezia. Great images.

Theresa Cheek said...

Catherine, I go to Europe almost every year...mostly Italy.

Mag..Tried to find some cool mosaics to shoot for you...not much luck though.

Albarosa-Did not have time to follow up on the other lead. Too many obligations! The weather was so perfect though.

MyFavoriteFrenchAntiques said...

The fabrics are stunning...the colors..the designs. How do you view them without wanting to touch??

Regina at Fauxology said...

Ohhh, so lovely. Thank you so much for posting these and giving the background, too.

stencil helen said...

Art schmart.... Did you buy shoes???
Seriously. it sounds like you had a wonderful time, I look forward to hearing and seeing more. Have the smocks arrived yet?

Theresa Cheek said...

LOL! Helen-
I bought shoes!!!
The smock is on it's way from London.

Will you be at Salon?

ceecee said...

Oh, Thank You, Theresa. Thank You with all my heart...for all your kind words, for understanding, for seeing.
Catherine xx

The Devoted Classicist said...

I am a Rubelli fan, so I particularly enjoyed this peek into their archives.

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